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Definition of a Railfan

  • SSoM

    I believe there are some bad Railfans, ones who steal builders plates, trespass upon railroad property or put themselves or the safety of others in danger by their presence, and so on.

    Your statement though that “these people bug me” in relationship to them taking pictures of you at work is somewhat troubling. First, in the way you state the paragraph, it appears that you have no understanding on why a person maybe photographing or filming railroad activity. Railfans take pictures of rail activities because they love railroads. In this whole topic individuals have poked fun of themselves and the activities they do to capture this love for railroads. A Railfan’s goal is not to get anyone suspended, their goal is simply to record something they love. Second, if an employee is doing his or her job correctly why is there any fear of someone taking pictures of their activities? What are they trying to hide?

    You also stated that you maybe should ask where these individuals work and possibly you could take pictures of them at work. I feel most people would not have any problem with this. For example, in my industry, mining, we do have individuals who take pictures of our operations and many times just like to sit and watch the various functions of the mining process. Now mining, like railroads, can be a dangerous industry, but myself and every other mining worker I have known has no problems letting people photograph our operations as long as it is accomplished in a safe manner. The reason we have no problem is because we understand the appeal of 300-ton haul trucks, 20-yard front end loaders and massive excavators. We are actually proud when someone is watching us, for at some capacity we know that person would love to trade positions. Even just for a second, because we all knew the feeling of jumping behind the wheel of a massive haul truck the first time. What I am trying to get across is don’t look at it as a negative, look at it in a manner that these Railfans love what you do, just like you must to some level, for if you did not why would you be on a forum in the first place?

  • Railfan
    a person that is interested in the operation and rolling stock of railroads.this person puts SAFETY above all else because he/she are aware that trains do not stop on a dime.Also this person is willing to share pics and info with others so they can understand how railroads work.This person will also report local problems to the railroad or local police because they know the railroad employees have families to go home to.
    stay safe

    Deshler Ohio-crossroads of the B&O Matt eats your fries.YUM! Clinton st viaduct undefeated against too tall trucks!!!(voted to be called the "Clinton St. can opener").


  • But pictures are worth a thousand words. Trains will always be...and they who are not in the great spirit of railroading, just don't know what they are missing.
    ralph zimmer
  • QUOTE: Originally posted by MikeSanta

    A railfan is someone who, when they're out driving and come to a railroad crossing and has to stop for a train thinks it's great that they have a front row view of the train.

    I'm with you. Even if the gates are just starting to come down. (or sometimes haven't even started down but I know they're gonna soon.) I'm stopping! Gotta be a railfan to do that...
  • If you hear a horn in the distance and a smile comes across your face....
    You might be a railfan.

    If you get caught at a crossing, in the middle of rush hour and think "Oh Goodie!" .... You might be a rail fan.

    You know the difference between GP-40 and a GP-38 from 1/4 mile away....
    You might be a railfan.

    When you are 30 years old and you get invited up into a cab with your 4 year old and have more fun than him..
    You might be a railfan.

    Seeing the letters EMDSD402T makes sense to you and gets you exicted
    You might be a rail fan.

    If you see ABBA and think a bunch of F-Units and not a 70's Band...
    You might be a rail fan.

    Hear the term War Bonnet and think Santa Fe, not what your mother in law migth wear over for dinner...
    You might be a rail fan.

    Trying to add some humor back in the thread... Hope you got a giggle, I did writeing them.

    Best Regards
    John Kanicsar

    Best Regards, Big John

    Kiva Valley Railway- Freelanced road in central Arizona.  Visit the link to see my MR forum thread on The Building of the Whitton Branch on the  Kiva Valley Railway